I wanted to go somewhere I haven’t been in a long time. After browsing through my list of restaurants, I eventually settled on The Grinder Man. The longtime sandwich shop has been around since the 70’s. It’s one of those older restaurants that doesn’t seem to get mentioned much and gets lost in the shuffle. So let’s bring it back into discussion.
510 E Pawnee
Wichita, KS 67211
Monday – Friday: 10:30am – 8pm
Saturday: 10:30am – 5pm
Closed on Sunday
The Grinder Man is a cash only restaurant that specializes in grinder sandwiches. What is a grinder exactly? To the naked eye, it’s pretty much a hoagie, hero and a sub. According to Eater.com, there’s a slight difference. Grinders is a New England–based term for a hero. According to Bon Appétit, “some claim that it was named for ‘grinders,’ Italian-American slang for dockworkers (who were often sanding and grinding rusty hulls to repaint them),” but the term most likely comes from the fact that they were harder to chew than normal sandwiches.
Did you catch all that? Me either, so I’m going with a sandwich or sub.
While going through the drive thru, I asked for a recommendation. I wanted something I haven’t had there before which crossed off the Grinder, Reuben and Hero. So that led me to the pepperoni and Italian cheese on white. You can get any sandwich served cold or hot and I went with hot to soften the bread.
For those looking to save a little money, Grinder Man has specials after 5pm on Monday. You can get any sandwich Maxi size for $6.50 and super size for $9.
I have this personal rule that if a restaurant serves deviled eggs, I have to order them. So I went with those and a side of potato salad.
The sides were nothing to write home about. The potato salad was fairly basic and the deviled eggs were tough….yes., tough. There was a tough, hardened texture to the deviled egg which threw me for a loop; a big failure for a deviled egg.
Fortunately the sandwich made up for it. There was no shortage of pepperoni, provolone and mozzarella cheese. It all came together so well and was only enhanced by the tangy sauce which livened it up.
When compared to other sub/sandwich places, my favorite will always be Moe’s Sub Shop. While Grinder Man doesn’t compare for me probably because of the bread, Moe’s Sub Shop is permanently closed so the comparison is all for naught. That leaves Grinder Man as a good alternative especially on the south side of town where sub shops are rare.
Here’s the menu:
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